Puffin on Roald Dahl U-turn: Publisher announces it will NOT edit author’s beloved books to remove ‘offensive content’ after outcry
Roald Dahl’s classic books will now be out of print after a huge protest saw the king’s wife, Camilla, walk into a Clarence House reception yesterday.
Publisher Puffin has pushed back on “woke” changes to many of its most famous children’s classics as critics, including the Queen Consort, demanded they not curb its “freedom of expression”.
He has announced the launch of the Roald Dahl Classic Collection ‘to keep the author’s classic texts in print’, following criticism of the recent edition of his work to remove potentially offensive language.
The dispute over revisionism has seen words like ‘fat’ dropped (August Gloop can now be referred to as ‘huge’) and Charlie and the Oompa Loompas from the Chocolate Factory become gender-neutral.
The ‘terrible ugliness’ of Mrs Twit has become ‘ugliness’ and Mrs Hoppy in Esio Trot is not an ‘attractive middle-aged lady’ but a ‘kind middle-aged lady’.
The latest editions of Mr. Dahl’s children’s books have been edited to remove language that could be considered offensive.
Queen Consort Camilla waded into the ongoing literary debate over Roald Dahl’s publisher who rewrote passages from his children’s books, as she welcomed guests to her literary reception yesterday.
But Puffin said in a statement this afternoon: “We at Puffin have proudly published the stories of Roald Dahl for over forty years in association with the Roald Dahl Story Company.
‘Her mischievous spirit and unique storytelling genius have delighted the imaginations of readers for many generations. We’ve heard last week’s discussion that has reaffirmed the extraordinary power of Roald Dahl’s books, and the very real questions about how stories from another era can stay relevant to each new generation.
‘As a children’s publisher, our role is to share the magic of stories with children with the greatest thought and care. Roald Dahl’s fantastic books are often the first stories young children will read independently, and nurturing the rapidly developing imaginations and minds of young readers is both a privilege and a responsibility.
‘We also recognize the importance of keeping Dahl’s classic texts in print. By making both the Puffin and Penguin versions available, we are giving readers the choice to decide how they experience Roald Dahl’s wonderful and magical stories.”
Yesterday, Camilla spoke at a reception with many of Britain’s leading writers amid anger that publishers have hired ‘sensitivity gurus’ to remove ‘offensive’ language in Dahl’s books.
She told the authors: “Please stay true to your calling, unhindered by those who wish to restrict your freedom of expression or impose limits on your imagination.” The 73-year-old royal looked up with a mischievous smile, adding: “Enough said.”
His comments were met with laughter and cheers of ‘listen, listen!’ from bestselling authors including Sebastian Faulks, William Boyd, Ben Okri, Philippa Gregory, and Charlie Mackesy.
The queen consort told them: ‘Let there be no squealing like mice about your achievements, but only roaring like a pride of lions.’
She was speaking at a reception at Clarence House yesterday.